There is something about the holiday season that brings us to a state of reflection that just doesn’t happen at other times of the year. We become more aware of all we have to be thankful for. In that spirit, we want to give a shout out to all dads, and remind you of just what a difference you can make in your children’s lives.
Historically, research placed greater focus on the role that Mom plays in the development of her children. Today, we know that dads are good for much more than piggybacks – and piggy banks. We know that they play an integral role in their children’s social, psychological, and physical development. This is just as true of fathers who are not very involved in their children’s lives as it is of those who are involved on a daily basis. Obviously, research points to the benefits of active involvement between fathers and their children. This leads to greater health and happiness for both.
Specific effects of actively involved fathers
- Babies of very involved fathers score better on developmental tests for motor and mental skills.
- The mundane matters! Think that changing your baby’s diaper or feeding her doesn’t matter much? It does! Studies show that fathers involved at this level create babies who handle stress better.
- There is a positive correlation between active fathering and children having higher self-esteem and more friends.
- In one study by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse as Columbia University, it was suggested that active involvement on dad’s part decreases the chance that a child will smoke or drink, or act out violently.
- Dad’s mental health is important. Depression during the toddler years can later show up in the older child as low cooperation and poor self-control. An interesting finding: Fatherly depression is more detrimental to a child than if Mom is depressed.
Clearly, Dad lives matter. Regardless of how comics and movies continue to present fathers in a somewhat negative light (even for a few laughs, this is disrespectful), we want the fathers who read this to recognize the immense value they have in the lives of their children. Knowing this value, also realize that it is important to take care of your physical health and wellness for the long haul.
We wish our patients a healthy and cheery holiday season. For healthcare designed around your unique needs, call (423) 778-8765.